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Minor prefatory note: I’ve updated the reading page with a slight redesign and (for 2022 reads) the year of publication.

Recent nonfiction reads

  • I Wish I’d Been There, edited by Byron Hollinshead. Historians talking about the parts of American history they wish they could go back in time to see. Really enjoyed this, and now I’ve got a whole bunch more parts of history I want to read up on.
  • Extra Life, by Steven Johnson. Such a fascinating book. Strongly recommended. (Also, those milk deaths in Manhattan — yikes.) I especially loved the corrective focus on larger networks and activism, which this quote from the book summarizes nicely:

In an age that so often conflates innovation with entrepreneurial risk taking and the creative power of the free market, the history of life expectancy offers an important corrective: the most fundamental and inarguable form of progress we have experienced over the past few centuries has not come from big corporations or start-ups. It has come, instead, from activists struggling for reform; from university-based scientists sharing their findings open-source style; and from nonprofit agencies spreading new scientific breakthroughs in low-income countries around the world.

Recent fiction reads

  • Petty Treasons, by Victoria Goddard. A novella, and a prequel to The Hands of the Emperor. The second-person POV was a little bit harder to read for some reason (which wasn’t the case with Ogres below). Nice to return to the world, though, and to see some of the retold events from a different perspective.
  • The Mountain in the Sea, by Ray Nayler. This had a bit of an Arrival vibe. Overall, I liked it, but it wasn’t as perfect a fit for me as I’d hoped it might be. Still interesting, though.
  • Inside Man, by K. J. Parker. A novella. Enjoyed it. The central conceit of this subseries of novellas is fun. (Well, it would be utterly horrifying in real life, but as a fictional exploration it’s fun.)
  • The Expert System’s Champion, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. A novella, takes place ten years after The Expert System’s Brother. The second half was much more interesting for me than the first half (which I struggled with, not sure why).
  • The Law, by Jim Butcher. A novella, takes place after Battle Ground. Fun to return to that world (though acknowledging that as usual with the Dresden Files, there are male-gazy parts I could very much do without).
  • Ogres, by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Another novella. Yes, yes, it was to pad my numbers. I do really like novellas, though, and I wish more books were shorter. This was my favorite Tchaikovsky read so far. That final twist!